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Health care reform still evolving

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POSTED: April 1, 2010 11:56 a.m.
ObamaCare is not destined to survive as it was voted into law. The reason? Simple, most people don’t want it.
Don’t get me wrong. Is some sort of bi-partisan healthcare reform possible that most everyone can agree to? Can we design a central insurance “fund” and a redistribution plan that would not usurp individual or free market rights? I believe the answer is “yes” to both questions - only ObamaCare clearly isn’t it.
We Americans not only don’t like to be told what to do, we don’t like being told to hurry up while doing it. We especially don’t like to be told to do things that impinge on our lifestyle or what we as a people consider our “inalienable rights.” We stand by the reasoning that if the government was so good at organizing and running this sort of thing, then why did Congress move the U.S. Postal Service into the private sector when it was in such a financial debacle? And that’s just moving the mail from point “A” to point “B,” folks - not overseeing brain surgery. But that’s another article.
Anyway, in my view, ObamaCare will ultimately be changed or disappear altogether for one reason; the central government was never given permission by the Constitution to “force” every citizen of any one state to buy goods or services from that same central government. It flies right into the teeth of the Ninth and Ten Amendments of the Bill Of Rights dealing with those “fair trade” issues. Plus common sense tells us that it just ain’t right. One more chisel hit to our freedoms. And this is a big hit.
And guess who gets to have the eventual say on this? The Supreme Court, which will field lawsuits from those very states that the central government (through ObamaCare) will attempt to trump.
Jefferson and Adams knew, that individual freedoms are the easiest to set upon because they are the easiest to take away.
The very first and basic right of “universal freedom” is the right of any one person to come and go as they choose, to do as they choose when they choose and to think and act as they choose. And in doing so, not to impinge on those very same freedoms of others. This is not a “law” of any given land - not even America. It’s a universal law. But we, as Americans, came as close to establishing this universal law when the Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia to form this nation. The “Great Experiment” it was called. The Founding Fathers (ALL of them) argued these rights and these freedoms incessantly.
But that’s just my point. This blockbuster legislation was not studied or argued enough at all. It was a railroad job. There was an undertow of political urgency by the Democrats that this country couldn’t wait - that no one had time to wait for a reasonable bi-partisan plan. The plan the Democrats had created alone would be forced through and would be the only plan that would be voted on! Oh, really?
And now it is law. But for how long?
For generations, layer after layer of “legislators” sought to make names for themselves by presenting bills and enacting laws which cut into individual freedoms. It’s their job. They are after all called law “makers” when they seek office. Some laws were good, like child labor laws. But after two hundred and fifty years of sitting in state and federal capitals, lawmakers have amassed an amazing array of “do’s and don’ts.” What will the next two or three hundred years of “lawmaking” bring? Is there no stopping this legislative build-up?
Yes. There is a wonderful stopgap firewall - an insurance policy if you will to protect individual freedoms that the Founding “Brothers” desperately and “mutually” hammered into existence as a nation over months and months, even as their own backs were up against the Revolutionary War - a bi-partisan band of rebels facing the world’s biggest super-power at the time. (And by comparison, the 2010 Democrats didn’t have the time to emulate? Shame.)
The safety valve is called the REPEAL.
As it stands right now, and as it is written, the 4,000-page ObamaCare legislation and supplements that just passed both the Democratic laden House and Senate, remains a vastly unpopular law. There is a common sense that we’ve been “duped” and force-fed a major lifestyle change that will cut into our innate right of “choice.”
This so-called “law of the land” of mandatory healthcare legislation is likely to be extremely modified and/or outright REPEALED. That’s just my opinion of course, but being an avid historian of sorts, I think I can back this claim up.
Let me explain. There is a “sinewy” part of the American character that goes way back to our roots. Remember, refugees of religious persecution founded America, along with, adventurers, cast-offs, explorers and various levels of criminals who were either exiled or running from authority themselves - great fodder for the “Great Experiment.” The first American flag was a reflection of this individualism - it was a huge coiled snake hissing out the words: “Don’t Tread On Me.”
And we’ve been hissing as a people ever since.
I can prove this notion that we as a people dump by repeal any law (like ObamaCare) that the majority of us simply don’t want.
Just take a look at but a few examples:
As early as 1657, the General Court of Massachusetts made it illegal to sell strong liquor “whether known by the name of rumme, strong water, wine, brandy, etc.” “Untenable,” cried the newly relocated colonists, criminals and adventurers. Result: First prohibition, act REPEALED.
We then hissed at the Brits when their Parliament tried to impose a tax on paper and paper goods (The Stamp Act). So we threw the first “Tea Party.”  Result: Tax REPEALED.
Then King George III said, “Okay. No more freedoms as my subjects. Naughty. You are all under house arrest.” See ya, Georgie Boy. Result: England REPEALED.
Not all universal freedoms are embraced. President George Washington and Congress made several very unpopular laws prohibiting settlers from taking by eminent domain or invading, “Territories and Lands of Aboriginal and Native peoples of America.” But settlers ignored Washington (the man) and the law of the land ended with the Manifest Destiny. Result: Native American sovereignty REPEALED.
Prohibition was an important force in state and local politics from the 1840s through the 1930s - almost a century of tea tolling. A classic minority forcing its legislative will on the majority. The central government made it illegal for anyone in any state to buy a drink! Oh, that must have been real popular in retrospect. On December 5th, 1933 a majority of the States ratified the Twenty-first Amendment. Result: Prohibition (The Eighteenth Amendment), prohibition REPEALED.
The “Jim Crow” law of “separate but equal races.” Result: Discrimination by law REPEALED.
The “Blue Laws” of most States declaring that Sunday be designated as a day of worship or rest, and that there be a restriction on Sunday shopping. Result: REPEALED.
Mandated National motorcycle helmet laws. REPEALED.
Wait. There’s more.
Various laws on the books dealing with; drugs, adultery, same-sex marriages, hate, sodomy, helmets for motorcycles “and” cyclists, health care in Mass., anti-crowding, handgun ban in DC, euthanasia, sexual consent and the Richmond Hill’s ban on serving alcohol on Sunday - Result: All REPEALED or being REPEALED.
Are we seeing a historical trend here?
My point, when an unpopular piece of legislation becomes the “law of the land” and that law is forcefully “mandated” by either state or federal lawmakers while a “majority” of the “people” don’t want it or consider it untenable and unreasonable, then as a people we have always - always - REPEALED it! Gone.
If the current uproar of the majority against ObamaCare continues across the land, then sooner or later, ObamaCare is destined to be just another REPEALED piece of untenable legislation and will suffer the same fate as Lizzy Borden’s axe - just another unsuccessful and unwieldy demand.
The “Don’t Tread On Me” flag hasn’t changed any of its stripes in almost three hundred and fifty years. And I don’t expect that it will anytime soon.
And that’s “hisssss-tory.”

Pisano is a columnist-at-large for the Bryan County News.
 

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